Jul 20, 2021 Eugenija Steponkute

How to Use Email Automation to Build Relationships


This article is written for CMOs to advise them on how to increase customer engagement via creating a highly personalised email automation strategy. We will walk you through how to streamline these processes using HubSpot CRM and why it is the best email automation software available on the market.

The objective of Digital BIAS is not to solve your problem for you, but to guide you towards the solution. And if you’re up for this journey - carry on reading.


You most certainly know that email automation is a must-have for an effective marketing strategy. This is not an incorrect statement - but it’s also not a complete one. Sending automated, generic, sales-y marketing emails that go to the entirety of your email lists at the same time won’t bring you any success. If anything, you risk driving your potential customers away with annoying mail that gets deleted before it’s even opened.


So, let us correct that statement. Building an individual customer experience through email automation is a must-have for an effective marketing strategy. A few articles ago we outlined that it’s no longer enough to offer great products at competitive prices - the customer demands being treated as an individual and not another contact on a mailing list.


In this article we will talk about how to get email automation right - so it enhances your marketing efforts as opposed to damaging them.


Inbound aka Relationship Marketing

We’re an inbound marketing agency, and therefore it’s at the heart of everything we do. Inbound is often referred to as ‘relationship marketing’ because, unlike traditional marketing, it doesn’t focus on pushing a product to sell once or twice. Instead, it prioritises nurturing long-term relationships that build customer loyalty and turns them into brand advocates. In other words, the success in inbound marketing is measured not in numbers of one-off sales but customer retention and satisfaction. 


If you’ve been focusing on hard sales for a long while, you might be wondering if it’s too late to try going the inbound route. The good news is that no, it’s not. Even if you have not attempted to build a relationship with your customers, all you have to do is take the first step. 


The key is to build trust between you and your customers, and you can achieve that through providing value. We are not talking about your product here as customers don’t want to be sold to. They want to be educated. 


Therefore to start building a relationship with them, you need to ensure you’re giving them relevant and useful content. Email Automation is a great place to start.

Choosing the Right Tool

If you ran off to the google ‘Email automation’ tool upon finishing the last paragraph,  you’re possibly back because you’ve been taken aback by the infinite options on the market. Despite many preaching that email marketing is no longer relevant in the era of social media, the numbers are very different from that statement. If anything, 87% of marketers (content marketing institute) actively use email marketing and agree with it being the most effective channel. In other words, since the demand is huge, the market of options is only bigger.

We understand that you most certainly don’t have the time to research each option in detail or to even skim through. This is why we would like to save you some time by introducing you to the proven best email automation option available: HubSpot CRM.

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Building Relationships with HubSpot CRM  

We are not singling this piece of software out because we’re an official HubSpot Gold Partner Agency. This is not a sponsored piece or anything of the kind. It’s because we know and can guarantee that this is an ultimate email automation solution the capacities of which are far beyond any other automation software on the market.

Our faith in HubSpot is not baseless - we have carried out multiple successful projects using this software. If you’d like more evidence on the results that can be achieved using HubSpot CRM - head right to our case studies. And if you’d like to explore relationship building via email in greater detail - keep scrolling.


Customer Relationships Through Email Personalisation

A common misconception upon hearing ‘email personalisation’ is that it simply stands for a personalised email subject line and addresses the recipient by name. While, yes, those types of subject lines have a 26% bigger possibility of being opened, they don't contribute towards building and nurturing relationships. What does, is sending each and every recipient information that’s most relevant to them specifically. To achieve that level of rapport you need to take the time to get to know each of your email subscribers.

No, this doesn’t mean calling them up one by one. HubSpot CRM enables multiple other ways of collecting relevant information about who your contacts are, ranging from their names and company details to how they interact with your website. One of the key conveniences is that you don’t have to insert any new bit of information manually - the CRM will update the contact information for you.

Now, this is where HubSpot gets miles ahead of other CRM platforms on the market. Using other software, once you’ve gathered enough data on subscribers, you can start building segmented lists. Dividing them by various criteria such as age, gender, location, interests, purchase history and such can help you tailor relevant messaging for each group. 

HubSpot’s smart content feature takes on board all the information that’s stored on every contact and tailors an individual approach to email communication based on data. In other words, instead of creating still somewhat generalised emails to go out for a certain market segment, you have HubSpot CRM creating highly personalised messaging for each contact individually.


Timing is Everything

Personalisation is sure the key to staying relevant, but to be truly nurturing relationships via email you must also ensure it reaches your contacts at the right time. The inbound methodology is that you need to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time, every time.

Email automation can come in different forms - stretching from something as simple as an order confirmation to inviting the contact to have a second look at the product page they’ve viewed a while ago. The reality is, with software as advanced as HubSpot CRM, you can automate almost any message to go out upon certain triggers are hit.

The best part is that programming email automation does not require the involvement of the developers. HubSpot has a very intuitive and easy to navigate interface for creating email workflows, as well as a big library of triggers with various customisation options. It allows you to create anything from simple email automation tasks such as following up with a contact that abandoned their cart with offering a discount to sophisticated multi-branched automation trees.

Tracking, Optimising and Improving

A relationship between email automation and data doesn’t end with sending an email. If anything, it opens a new door. Although HubSpot CRM uses data to curate relevant resources and distribute them to the right contacts, the act of sending an email also creates an opportunity to create even more information on them. 

You can learn more about your contacts individually by observing how they interact with the email they’ve received. Keep an eye on open rate, conversion rate and click-through rate to analyse what works, what doesn’t and what can be improved.

Ask Directly

Finally, to maximise the effectiveness of your email automation, don’t just sit around waiting for the data to pour in. Ask your contacts directly by creating the Ask, Categorize, Act and Follow-up (ACAF) customer feedback loop in emails. 

A quick guide on how to do that:

  1. Send your contact list an email with a small survey. Ask them directly about whether they find the content you send them relevant, do they find them annoying, what would they prefer to see, etc.
  2. Analyse the feedback you’ve received. You’re likely to spot a pattern.
  3.  Find a solution and optimise your approach based on it.
  4. Create a separate list of contacts whose feedback has been actioned on and follow-up with them, informing them the changes they’ve bought up have been implemented. Ask for further feedback.


Email automation is a vital part of any marketing strategy - but unless it’s done right, it can backfire and damage your reputation instead. If your email messaging isn’t personalised and doesn’t deliver individual value to each contact, you are doing it wrong. The key to a successful email automation strategy is to build a relationship with your audience by only delivering them content that has high relevance to their specific needs.


The best way of building the best performing email nurturing strategy would be through employing HubSpot CRM for the task. Not only it collects, store and update information of your contacts, but also comes packed with features that enable the creation of automated yet personalised experiences based on it.

If you’d like to discuss customer relationship building through email automation in further detail, give us a shout.



Published by Eugenija Steponkute July 20, 2021